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EGLISE SAINT JACQUES

Address : Rue de Nantes
85150 LES ACHARDS
FRANCE

Presentation of: EGLISE SAINT JACQUES

The current building is the third church to be built in La Mothe-Achard.

The first church, Sainte Marie de MOTA-CHART, stood a few hundred metres lower than this one, heading east towards Bourg-Paillé. We know nothing about this building other than that it was the main church in La Mothe-Achard, which then had two parishes. It was probably burnt down during the Wars of Religion (1562-1598) and never rebuilt.
From then on, La Mothe only had one parish and one church.

The second church, Saint-Jacques, was probably the castle chapel. It was built in the 12th century on the site of the present-day church.
It was built on the model of La Chapelle-Achard, at least in terms of the apse and the choir aisle of the same width. It was enlarged, altered and consolidated several times: first in 1636, after the Wars of Religion, when it suffered the same fate as Sainte-Marie, and then in 1785. During the Revolution, the church was spared the fire set in 1794 by the soldiers of the Convention, which completely destroyed the village. It was then used as an ammunition depot and a stable, from which it was badly damaged. Restored between 1801 and 1806, it returned to its normal use until 1898, when it was demolished because it was too old, too small and in danger of collapsing. Its stones were set into the walls of the new church, built on the same site.

The new church was begun in 1898, at a time when hundreds of similar churches were being built in the Vendée. It was opened for worship in the last months of 1899 and consecrated on 1st May 1901 by Mgr Catteau, then Bishop of Luçon. The style in vogue was neo-Gothic, recognisable by the use of pointed arches in both the windows and the vaults of the building.

It must be assumed that the small size of the previous church did not sit well with its parishioners, as this one spared neither space (it can hold up to 800 people) nor volume (as can be seen from the elevation of the vaults). Another concern of the builders seems to have been to make this building a monument worthy of a flourishing county town: it had to be seen from afar, hence the proud neo-Gothic spire with tiny arrow slits rising to over fifty metres and dominating the surrounding countryside.
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La Mothe Achard
La Mothe Achard

Other: Patrimoine religieux

Abbaye Royale

SAINT-MICHEL-EN-L'HERM

The abbey was founded in 682 AD on a limestone islet. Following the Concordat of 1516, it became a royal abbey.